How Older People Can Stay Safe from the Delta Variant

A doctor specializing in geriatric medicine offers advice on how older individuals can stay safe from the Delta variant.

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CLEVELAND – As the Delta variant continues to spread across the United States, some older people may be wondering what they can do to stay safe.

“For our older population, COVID has always been an issue because they are more likely to get sick, get sick longer, more complications, so it’s a big concern,” said Ronan Factora, MD, who specializes in geriatric medicine for Cleveland Clinic. “The Delta variant really represents a change in the infectivity of COVID-19, so people are more likely to get sick.”

Dr. Factora said since the Delta variant is highly contagious, it’s vital for older people to be especially careful. So, what can they do to protect themselves?

First and foremost, get vaccinated if they haven’t already. Dr. Factora said that’s going to be their best line of defense. He also recommends wearing a mask when possible and avoiding big crowds.

He knows it can be tiring to keep up with these precautions, but he said we can’t afford to take any risks with this variant.

“You want to be as safe as possible and just balance that risk and benefit and make sure you do the right thing for your safety, but also think about the people around you who may still also be at high risk for getting the COVID-19 virus. You can still protect them as well as yourself,” he said.

When it comes to visiting grandchildren, Dr. Factora said it’s important to remember kids under 12 can’t get vaccinated yet, so older people may want to consider wearing a mask.

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